Bob Haynie: NBA Conference Finals: Who Advances?
After successfully picking the winners of all four NBA conference semi-finals series, I will now try my luck with the next round.
In the East, the Miami Heat fought past the injured Chicago Bulls to make it to the conference finals for the third-straight season. The Indiana Pacers ended the New York Knicks fine campaign in six games.
The San Antonio Spurs survived the high-scoring Golden State Warriors in six to make it to the NBA Final Four for the second consecutive year. The Memphis Grizzlies advanced to the conference finals for the first time in franchise history by bouncing the defending Western Conference champion OKC Thunder in five games.
(1) Miami Heat vs. (3) Indiana Pacers: These two teams met in last year’s conference semi-finals with Miami winning in six games. During the 2012-13 regular season, the Pacers took two of three from the defending NBA champs. LeBron James in the best player in the world and won another MVP. That being said, his matchup with the Pacers Paul George should be interesting. Dwyane Wade is still banged up for the Heat and Roy Hibbert has played well for Indiana. In what should be a physical series, Miami will be just too good….Heat in 6.
(2) San Antonio Spurs vs. (5) Memphis Grizzlies: The last time these teams met in the playoffs in 2011, the Grizzlies upset the top-seeded Spurs in the first-round. They split four games during the 2012-13 regular season. Since losing the first two games to the Clippers, Memphis is 8-1 in the postseason. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol have been tough inside. The San Antonio “Big Three” of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili is playoff tested and looking to redeem themselves after losing to the Thunder in 2012. I see this one going the distance with experience winning out….Spurs in 7.